K’hook buys time to regulate harvesting daylight

KINDERHOOK–The Town Board has adopted a three month moratorium on the installation of non-roof-mounted solar panels.
The motion for the temporary ban, which passed unanimously at the regular meeting Monday night, August 1, says in part, “The Town Board finds that a moratorium should be enacted to enable the town to investigate the appropriate regulation of solar farms and non-roof-mounted solar.”
Town Supervisor Pat Grattan said that the town Codes Committee would review the zoning law since currently there are no restrictions on solar panels. The moratorium defines a solar farm as “a collection of solar panels covering ¼ acre or more of land which are designated to capture sunlight and transform it into electricity. This shall include all freestanding and ground pole-mounted pholovoltaic and parabolic solar installations.”
Mr. Grattan stressed that the committee would be looking into solar farms as well as panels in private use that are not mounted to a roof, especially ones on poles that might move to follow the sunlight. “I think it is the impact on the neighbors,” he said of the need to consider having regulations govern those types of solar devices in a yard.
“We don’t have anything in the zoning ordinance to deal with this,” he said.
The board held a public hearing on the moratorium before the regular meeting and voted to pass the motion during the meeting. Mr. Grattan said that he didn’t know of any application currently in front of the town Planning Board for the types of solar panels covered by the moratorium.
Other towns in the county, including Ancram and Copake either have are or are considering rules for ground-mounted solar systems.
Also at the meeting:
• Mr. Grattan said that he talked to Fairpoint, the primary internet service provider for the town, about broadband and he was told that wherever Fairpoint had phone lines residents could get internet service. Mr. Grattan said that if residents do not have internet service, they should contact him at
• The town clerk said she is having a problem with her email. As of the August 1 meeting she could not send or receive email. She said she was dealing with Fairpoint on the problem
• Councilwoman Patsy Leader said she will host a heroin addiction awareness meeting Wednesday, August 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the courtroom in the Martin H. Glynn Building. “It’s affecting all of you, it’s in your backyard,” she said
• Ms. Leader and Mr. Grattan plan to meet with Valatie Mayor Diane Argyle to discuss the use of the Glynn Municipal Building. The town and village jointly own the building. Both boards must approve applications by outside groups to use available rooms, including the gym. Mr. Grattan said the town and village need to have a policy on use of the building by for-profit and not-for-profit groups.
The next Town Board meeting is Monday, September 12 at 7 p.m. in the Glynn Building.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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